If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Tropical Plants

Chromolaena odorata

(L.) R.M.King & H.Rob.

Asteraceae

+ Synonyms

Eupatorium brachiatum Sw. ex Wikstr.

Eupatorium clematitis DC.

Eupatorium conyzoides Mill.

Eupatorium conyzoides Vahl

Eupatorium dichotomum Sch.Bip.

Eupatorium divergens Less.

Eupatorium floribundum Kunth

Eupatorium graciliflorum DC.

Eupatorium incisum Rich.

Eupatorium klattii Millsp.

Eupatorium odoratum L.

Eupatorium sabeanum Buckley

Eupatorium stigmatosum Meyen & Walp.

Osmia clematitis (DC.) Sch.Bip.

Osmia conyzoides Sch.Bip.

Osmia conyzoides Small

Osmia floribunda (Kunth) Sch.Bip.

Osmia odorata (L.) Sch.Bip.

Common Name:

Chromolaena odorata
Young plant with soft, non-woody stems
Photograph by: L. Shyamal
Creative Commons Attribution 2.5
Chromolaena odorata Chromolaena odorata Chromolaena odorata Chromolaena odorata Chromolaena odorata Chromolaena odorata

General Information

Chromolaena odorata often starts its life as a perennial plant with more or less woody stems that die down at the end of the growing season. It eventually becomes more shrub-like, producing long, rambling stems that can be 7 metres or more long; forming tangled thickets of growth up to 3 metres high in the open and 7 metres or more in the forest[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
,
372
Title
Flowers of India
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.flowersofindia.net/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A wed site of native Indian plants, plus cultivated and naturalized species. It has good quality photos and terse details on more than 3,000 species and cultivars.
,
701
Title
Asean Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://211.114.21.20/tropicalplant/index.jsp
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details, with photos, of many of the plants growing in the tropical forests of southeast Asia. Gives some details of plant uses along with a description of the plant and its range.
].
The tree is harvested from the wild as a local source of medicines. Often grown as an ornamental, it also has potential as a pioneer species in reforestation projects.

Known Hazards

When applied as a green manure in rice paddies, compounds in the plant may kill fish[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Botanical References


Range

S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezula, Guyanas; C. America - Panama to Mexico; Caribbean to SE N.Americ

Habitat

An opportunistic plant that invades clearings and river flats in the rainforest. It appears early in the successional stage, rapidly establishing dense thickets and then gradually disappearing as the rainforest canopy closes in[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitShrub
Height3.00 m
Growth RateFast
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the warm and humid tropics and subtropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 20 - 35°c, but can tolerate 16 - 38°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It can be killed by temperatures of -1°c or lower[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 2,000 - 4,000mm, but tolerates 1,500 - 5,000mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Requires a sunny position[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Succeeds in many soil types, but prefers well-drained soils[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6.5, tolerating 4 - 7.5[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Commonly grown as an ornamental, in recent decades the plant has become a serious pest in the humid tropics of South East Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands. It has small, wind-dispersed seeds that can also cling to hair, clothing and shoes. It spreads rapidly in lands used for forestry, pasture and plantation crops such as rubber, coffee, coconut, cocoa and cashew[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. The leaves and petioles have glandular dots emitting a strong pungent smell when crushed - phenols and alkaloids in the plant, in particular in the leaves, have an allelopathic effect, inhibiting the germination of its own seeds and seedling development of other plants[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
372
Title
Flowers of India
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.flowersofindia.net/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A wed site of native Indian plants, plus cultivated and naturalized species. It has good quality photos and terse details on more than 3,000 species and cultivars.
]. The plant forms dense stands in disturbed land, preventing the establishment of other species, both due to competition and allelopathic effects[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].

Edible Uses

The leaves have occasionally been used as an aromatic addition to soups[
617
Title
Traditional Vegetables in Benin
Publication
 
Author
Achigan-Dako E. Et al
Publisher
Darwin Initiative; International Foundation for Science
Year
2009
ISBN
 
Description
Issued as a PDF on the Internet, it contains basic information on over 250 species of plants used for food in Benin.
].

Medicinal

The leaves are said to be antibiotic, antimalarial and febrifuge[
617
Title
Traditional Vegetables in Benin
Publication
 
Author
Achigan-Dako E. Et al
Publisher
Darwin Initiative; International Foundation for Science
Year
2009
ISBN
 
Description
Issued as a PDF on the Internet, it contains basic information on over 250 species of plants used for food in Benin.
]. An infusion of the leaves is taken to cleanse the blood[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].
The young leaves are crushed, and the resulting liquid can be used to treat skin wounds[
372
Title
Flowers of India
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.flowersofindia.net/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A wed site of native Indian plants, plus cultivated and naturalized species. It has good quality photos and terse details on more than 3,000 species and cultivars.
].The leaves are used to treat eye pains[
617
Title
Traditional Vegetables in Benin
Publication
 
Author
Achigan-Dako E. Et al
Publisher
Darwin Initiative; International Foundation for Science
Year
2009
ISBN
 
Description
Issued as a PDF on the Internet, it contains basic information on over 250 species of plants used for food in Benin.
].

The stem is used in an emollient mix to use while extracting splinters[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
]. The stems and branches are crushed and combined with the wood-pulp of Cecropia obtusa and a seed of Theobroma cacao, this is then kneaded in Carapa oil, and locally applied in a plaster[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

The seed contains alkaloids[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].
The leaves contain cerylic alcohol, sisterol, isosakuranetine and odoratine[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].
An essential oil in the plant contains sesquiterpenic acid, eupatol and anisic acid[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
]. It has been shown to have an anti-bacterial activity on Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The whole plant contains triterpenic alcohols[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant flourishes in disturbed habitats, particularly in areas of slash and burn agriculture[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. The shoots bend over due to their increasing weight - consequently apical dominance is broken and new shoots develop. The bent shoots die and form a thick, sagging mat in the vegetation which absorbs the light of plants in the understorey and hinders their vertical development by mechanical pressure. It is thus considered to be a noxious weed in pasture, where it suppresses the growth of grasses. However, this also makes it an excellent pioneer species in the succession from open space to forest. Its lifetime depends on the presence of woody species in the vegetation - it cannot regenerate in shady places and so tree growth eventually shades it out[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. It can be used as a pioneer species when re-establishing woodland, but it should only be used within its native range for this purpose because of its propensity to invade non-native habitats[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
The plant has become a serious pest in the humid tropics of South East Asia, Africa and Pacific Islands, where it spreads rapidly in lands used for forestry, pasture and plantation crops such as rubber, coffee, coconut, cocoa and cashew. Its positive aspects are that the plants create a lot of humus and raise pH levels on very acid soils[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Although, under certain conditions, the plant can be one of the most noxious weeds in agriculture, it is used in Cambodia as a green manure in the production of lowland rice, cassava and black pepper, whilst in Nigeria its use as mulch in yam, cassava and coffee is subject of research[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The plant is recommended for the control of Imperata cylindrica[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
In both Asia and Africa a natural fallow of the plant is gradually becoming more common in semi-permanent food crop production, and many small farmers in countries such as Indonesia and Laos consider it a most useful fallow crop[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The plant is known to harbour parasites and pathogens injurious to crops, including grasshoppers (Zonocerus variegatus); weevils (Aphis spp.); nematodes (Scutellonema bradys); and microorganisms (Cercospora spp. causing leaf spot disease, Fusarium oxysporum and Pseudomonas solanacearum). However, they rarely do serious harm[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Other Uses

The leaves are reported to be useful in controlling the weevil Cylas formicarius and the butterfly Phtorimae operculella in sweet potato, the nematode Heterodera marioni in black pepper, as well as nematodes in sugar cane and tomato[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Mulching black pepper with this plant reduced the nematode infestation (Heterodera marioni) and secondary infection of Pythium spp. All the pepper vines in the untreated plots died within 3 years, but nearly all survived in the mulched plots[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Propagation

Seed - it requires light to germinate and is best sown very near the surface, but it may still emerge when buried up to 3cm deep[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Emergence takes 4 - 12 days[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. During the first 3 months of growth the seedlings stay rather small and mainly form leaves. Later, the length and biomass of the stem increase rapidly. Before growing downwards, the primary root forms a small, horizontal part, from which many secondary roots develop. During further growth it swells progressively and serves as a storage organ from which new shoots may sprout[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]
Viability of fresh seed ranges from 33 - 66%. A small proportion of the seed will germinate when freshly harvested, but most remains dormant - after 2 years up to 40% of the seed will still germinate[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Cuttings - the nodes of branches readily root when in contact with moist soil[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Root cuttings
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2020-11-29. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Chromolaena%20odorata&fbclid=IwAR1CyYemt6f9Q7-Vx9C6SQh5RIhJCvwSamM-rZUPhPiQGpc-pVWcujGBwN4>

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.